Wednesday, June 21, 2017
Food and drink aplenty on Saratoga Race Course schedule
The event schedule from The New York Racing Association Inc. is loaded with food- and drink-centric events, the majority of them to take place in the Berkshire Bank Saratoga Pavilion.
The schedule includes the expansion of the Taste NY series to four days. The on-track market of New York food, fashion and artisan vendors, previously held exclusively on Sundays, is being expanded to Saturdays. The full schedule (florid descriptions courtesy of the NYRA):
OPENING DAY: Friday, July 21: The 2017 annual summer meet will kick-off with the Grade III Schuylerville and Grade III Lake George.
TASTE NY: CRAFT BEER: Every Friday beginning July 21: Taste NY: Craft Beer will allow track patrons the opportunity to sample numerous craft beers produced exclusively by New York State breweries. The tasting will be held each Friday from noon to 5 p.m. in the Berkshire Bank Saratoga Pavilion. Guests will enjoy five samples for $5. Must be 21 years or older to participate.
WOODFORD RESERVE FRIDAYS AT THE POST: Every Friday beginning July 21: Racing fans will be invited to continue their day at Saratoga with Woodford Reserve Fridays at The Post, the lively bar and entertainment spot located adjacent to the paddock. Each Friday of the meet will feature a DJ and dancing, cocktail samplings and trivia at The Post following the day's final race.
TASTE NY: FOOD & ARTISANS: Every Saturday beginning July 22: An on-track market of numerous food and artisan vendors featuring products made exclusively in New York State. The market will be held each Saturdayfrom 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Berkshire Bank Saratoga Pavilion. Guests will also have the opportunity to learn about NYRA Bets and the all-new NYRA XP mobile app.
KETEL ONE PARTY AT THE POST: Every Saturday beginning July 22: The fun will continue each Saturday of the season with the Ketel One Party at The Post. Saturday evenings at Saratoga will feature music from a DJ following the day's final race, cocktail samplings and giveaways.
26TH ANNUAL HAT CONTEST PRESENTED BY HAT SATIONA! BY DEI: Sunday, July 23: The "crowning" achievement of opening weekend, visitors will go head-to-head for prizes in the annual Hat Contest. Categories will include one designated for children, one for the most fashionable millinery and one for the most creative headwear. The contests will take place after the second, third and fourth races of the afternoon. Prizes are provided by Hat sationa! by DEI.
TASTE NY: FOOD & ARTISANS: Every Sunday beginning July 23: Taste NY: Food & Artisans is a lively on-track market of numerous food and artisan vendors featuring products made exclusively in New York State. The market will be held each Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Berkshire Bank Saratoga Pavilion. Guests will also have the opportunity to learn about NYRA Bets and the all-new NYRA XP mobile app.
BERKSHIRE BANK FAMILY MONDAYS: Every Monday beginning July 24: The Berkshire Bank Family Mondays series will feature a wide variety of family-friendly activities, games, attractions and educational activities each Monday of the meet from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Berkshire Bank Saratoga Pavilion.
CELEBRATE MILITARY APPRECIATION DAY: Wednesday, July 26: Saratoga Race Course will pay tribute to active military members and veterans in appreciation of their sacrifice and service to our nation. The Berkshire Bank Saratoga Pavilion will feature exhibits and activities throughout the day.All veterans and active duty military will receive free Grandstand admission with military ID.
TASTE NY: CIDER, WINE & SPIRITS: Every Thursday beginning July 27: Taste NY: Cider, Wine & Spirits will allow guests the opportunity to sample varietals of cider, wine and spirits from numerous New York State distilleries and wineries. Live music will accompany the tasting each Thursday of the meet from noon to 5 p.m. in the Berkshire Bank Saratoga Pavilion. Guests will enjoy five samples for $5. Must be 21 years or older to participate.
TEQUILA & TACO THURSDAYS: Every Thursday beginning July 27: Each Thursday of the season, guests will enjoy specials on margaritas and tacos at The Post, as well as live flamenco guitar performances following the day's final race.
COLLEGE & ALUMNI DAY: Friday, July 28: This year's College & Alumni Day will feature the first-ever College & Alumni Handicapping Tournament at the Spa. College students and alumni will be invited to test their handicapping skills in a live money tournament for the opportunity to win up to a $5,000 scholarship for their alma mater from the New York Racing Association. Advance registration is required to participate in the tournament. Special group rates are available. To register your group of 10 or more, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Registration deadline is July 21.
PERMANENTLY DISABLED JOCKEYS' FUND AWARENESS DAY: Saturday, July 29: Saratoga Race Course will unite with racetracks across the country on Saturday with autograph signings and photo opportunities as part of the Permanently Disabled Jockeys' Fund (PDJF) Day Across America.
CELEBRATE IRISH-AMERICAN DAY: Wednesday, August 2: Saratoga will bring racing fans extra luck during Irish-American Day. The day-long celebration of culture and heritage will feature traditional Irish music, dance, food and entertainment at the Berkshire Bank Saratoga Pavilion from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
WHITNEY DAY AND THE FASIG-TIPTON FESTIVAL OF RACING: Saturday, August 5: The Grade 1, $1.2 million Whitney, a "Win and You're In" qualifier for the $6 million Breeders' Cup Classic, will pair with the Grade 1, $500,000 Test for 3-year-old fillies, and the Grade 3, $200,000 Fasig-Tipton Waya for turf fillies and mares on the first "must-see" card of the meet. Also on Saturday are two additional turf stakes: the $100,000 Fasig-Tipton Lure and the $100,000 Fasig-Tipton De La Rose for fillies and mares.
JOCKEY LEGENDS DAY: Sunday, August 6: Some of the greatest riders in the history of thoroughbred racing will gather at Saratoga Race Course for the fourth annual Jockey Legends Day. The day's activities will feature special appearances by some of the Spa's most accomplished riders and autograph signings.
SARATOGA CHALLENGES: Wednesday, August 9 & Thursday, August 10: The pair of live money challenges will occur as two separate one-day contests and will guarantee a minimum first place payout of $10,000, as well as awarding entries to the 2018 Belmont Stakes Challenge (1) and the National Handicapping Championship (2) to the top three finishers, based on selection by order of finish. Both challenges will consist of wagering exclusively on Saratoga races through the following pools only: Win, Place, Show, Exacta, Quinella, and Trifecta. The entry fee into either challenge is $1,000, with a maximum number of entries at two per day, per person. For more information about the Saratoga Challenges, visit https://www.nyra.com/saratoga/racing/saratoga-challenge.
CELEBRATE BREW CENTRAL NY DAY: Wednesday, August 9: The day-long event in the Berkshire Bank Saratoga Pavilion will feature activities, exhibits and entertainment which showcase the renaissance of craft beer, hard cider, spirits and wine in Central New York and celebrate the region's history as a prominent hops producer. Guests will enjoy five samples for $5. Must be 21 years or older to participate.
FABULOUS FILLIES DAY: Thursday, August 10: Saratoga Race Course will celebrate women and their contributions to the thoroughbred industry while raising funds to support The Breast Cancer Research Foundation on Fabulous Fillies Day. The centerpiece of the day will be the Sizzling Hot Pink Saratoga Hat Luncheon, presented by Vineyard Vines, beginning with an elegant champagne reception hosted by Moet & Chandon, and featuring gifts provided by Spa Mirbeau. This year's luncheon will honor Sheila Rosenblum of Lady Sheila Stable.
CELEBRATE ADIRONDACKS DAY: Wednesday, August 16: Saratoga Race Course will highlight the majestic Adirondacks region, including the home of the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics, Lake Placid. The day-long event at the Berkshire Bank Saratoga Pavilion will feature activities, exhibits and entertainment which showcase the great attractions of the Adirondacks in upstate New York.
LUSTGARTEN FOUNDATION DAY: Saturday, August 19: Saratoga will honor the legacy of trainer Dominic Galluscio with a day to benefit The Lustgarten Foundation, a non-profit organization whose mission is to advance scientific and medical research related to pancreatic cancer. The day will feature an autograph session with various Saratoga trainers.
CELEBRATE FIRST RESPONDERS APPRECIATION DAY: Wednesday, August 23: Saratoga Race Course will honor police officers, firefighters, EMTs and paramedics during First Responders Appreciation Day. The Berkshire Bank Saratoga Pavilion will feature exhibits and activities throughout the day. All first responders will receive free Grandstand admission with proper ID.
STEWART'S ICE CREAM EATING CONTEST: Wednesday, August 23: Racing fans will compete in the ultimate in chilly contests at the annual Stewart's Ice Cream Eating Contest. Contestants will be divided into three age groups - kids, teens and adults - as they battle to see who can eat a pint of ice cream the fastest. Saratoga season passes are currently on sale at nearly 160 Stewart's Shops locations.
NEW YORK SHOWCASE DAY: Friday, August 25: Travers weekend will kick off with New York Showcase Day, featuring six stakes races exclusively for New York-breds, including the $250,000 Albany for 3-year-olds and the $150,000 West Point, presented by Trustco Bank, on the turf.
TRAVERS DAY: Saturday, August 26: The 148th running of the $1.25 million Travers will be the centerpiece of a supercharged Travers Day. Joining the Mid-Summer Derby for 3-year-olds will be five other Grade 1 stakes: the $1 million Sword Dancer Invitational at 1 ½ miles on the turf, the $500,000 Ballerina for filly and mare sprinters, the $600,000 Forego at seven furlongs, the $500,000 H. Allen Jerkens Memorial, formerly known as the King's Bishop, for 3-year-olds at seven furlongs, and the $700,000 Personal Ensign for fillies and mares going 1 1/8 miles. Rounding out the blockbuster card is the Grade 2, $400,000 Woodford Reserve Ballston Spa for turf fillies and mares.
CELEBRATE ITALIAN-AMERICAN DAY: Wednesday, August 30: The charm and spirit of Italy will come trackside when Saratoga Race Course hosts Italian-American Day. The day-long celebration of Italian culture and heritage will feature traditional Italian music, dance, food, entertainment and games at the Berkshire Bank Saratoga Pavilion from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
FAN APPRECIATION WEEK: Wednesday, August 30-Monday, September 4: The New York Racing Association will thank its most loyal fans, season pass and season ticket holders, with an exclusive series of special events, activities and offers during closing week of the 2017 season at Saratoga Race Course.
CLOSING DAY: Monday, September 4: The 2017 meet will come to a close with the traditional final feature race, the 113th running of the Grade 1, $350,000 Hopeful for 2-year-olds, which affords racing fans a preview of potential standouts in next year's Triple Crown series and Travers.
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Posted by William M. Dowd at 6:58 PM